Early Motor Developmental Milestones and Personality Traits in Midlife: A 50-Year Follow-Up Study

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Background The purpose of this study was to investigate if infants' age at attaining motor developmental milestones is associated with the big five personality traits 50 years later. Methods Mothers of 8395 infants from the Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort recorded a total of 12 motor developmental milestones during the first year of their infant's life. Information on at least one milestone was available for 1307 singletons with adult follow-up scores on the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory. The mean age at personality testing was 50.1 years. Results Slower attainment of motor milestones was associated with increased neuroticism and lower conscientiousness in midlife. All 12 motor developmental milestones explained a total of 2.4% of the variance in neuroticism, while they explained 3.2% of the variance in conscientiousness. These results remained significant after adjustment for the included family and perinatal covariates, as well as adult intelligence. Discussion The personality trait of neuroticism is a general risk factor for psychopathology and has in young adulthood been found to be associated with early motor development. However, evidence on associations of motor developmental milestones with other personality traits has been non-existent. These findings suggest that delays in early motor development may not only characterise individuals with later psychopathology, including schizophrenia, but may also be associated with personality traits such as neuroticism and conscientiousness through the life course.

Original languageEnglish
Article number718
JournalChildren-Basel
Volume10
Issue number4
Number of pages12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • motor developmental milestones, personality traits, birth cohort, NEO-Five-Factor, NEO 5-FACTOR INVENTORY, ENVIRONMENTAL-INFLUENCES, PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES, NEUROTICISM, TEMPERAMENT, SCHIZOPHRENIA, ASSOCIATIONS, ADULTHOOD, LANGUAGE, ORIGINS

ID: 347285475